Perspectives on Science 9 (3):259-284 (2001)

Authors
Yaakov Zik
University of Haifa
Abstract
: Scientific observation is determined by the human sensory system, which generally relies on instruments that serve as mediators between the world and the senses. Instruments came in the shape of Heron's Dioptra, Levi Ben Gerson's Cross-staff, Egnatio Danti's Torqvetto Astronomico, Tycho's Quadrant, Galileo's Geometric Military Compass, or Kepler's Ecliptic Instrument. At the beginning of the seventeenth century, however, it was unclear how an instrument such as the telescope could be employed to acquire new information and expand knowledge about the world. To exploit the telescope as a device for astronomical observations Galileo had to: 1. establish that telescopic images are not optical defects, imperfections in the eye of the observer, or illusions caused by lenses; 2. develop procedures for systematically handling errors that may occur during observation and measurement and methods of processing data. Galileo made it clear that in order to measure and interpret natural phenomena accurately, a suitable method and instrument would need to be developed. It is intriguing, therefore, to regard the Galilean telescope in this light and to discover the linkage established by Galileo among theory, method, and instrument—the telescope. Although the telescope was not invented through science, it is instructive to see how Galileo used optics to employ a theory-laden instrument for bridging the gulf between picture and scientific language, between drawing and reporting physical facts, and between merely sketching the world and actually describing it
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1162/10636140160176143
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 65,784
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Patterns of Discovery.Norwood R. Hanson, A. D. Ritchie & Henryk Mehlberg - 1960 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 10 (40):346-349.
Saving the Phenomena.James Bogen & James Woodward - 1988 - Philosophical Review 97 (3):303-352.
How Experiments End.P. Galison - 1990 - Synthese 82 (1):157-162.
Data and Phenomena.James Woodward - 1989 - Synthese 79 (3):393 - 472.
Jesuit Mathematical Science and the Reconstitution of Experience in the Early Seventeenth Century.Peter Dear - 1987 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 18 (2):133.

View all 26 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
83 ( #133,607 of 2,462,976 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #449,363 of 2,462,976 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes